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Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Rural Energy Planning and Policies in Nepal: Gender Perspectives


Mahat, Ishara. 2004. “Rural Energy Planning and Policies in Nepal: Gender Perspectives.” Journal of Resources, Energy and Development 1 (1): 19–41.

Author: Ishara Mahat


Women in rural Nepal are heavily involved in managing household energy systems. They spend a large proportion of their time and energy in collecting firewood and processing food grain. For instance, a woman in Nepal’s rural mountainous area spends four to six hours in collecting a bundle firewood. Being the primary users and managers of household energy, women are very careful in ensuring efficient energy use. Indeed, they possess indigenous knowledge and skills in energy production and management. Despite this reality, Nepal’s planners and policy-makers – who are usually male – rarely consider rural energy problems from the perspective of women. Rural energy interventions are planned and designed with the aim of saving fuel rather than that of reducing human drudgery or opening up new development opportunities for women and men. This paper analyses the issues and challenges facing Nepal’s rural energy sector and makes some policy recommendations with a focus on gender-based plans and policies. A gender-sensitive planning framework indicating long-term goals, medium-term objectives, and relevant indicators has been designed to provide planners with a basis to integrate gender into rural energy planning and policies.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Households, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2004

Feminist Political Ecology and Rural Women-Led Cooperatives in Hidalgo, Mexico


Alarcón, Jozelin María Soto, Diana Xóchitl González Gómez, Eduardo Rodríguez Juárez, and Angélica María Vázquez Rojas. 2020. “Feminist Political Ecology and Rural Women-Led Cooperatives in Hidalgo, Mexico.” Textual (75): 131-55.

Authors: Jozelin María Soto Alarcón, Diana Xóchitl González Gómez, Eduardo Rodríguez Juárez, Angélica María Vázquez Rojas


This study analyzes through feminist political ecology approach the gender strategies enacted by two peasant and indigenous rural women-led cooperatives in Hidalgo Mexico, to access and manage natural resources intersected by ethnicity and training. With a long-term longitudinal study, the interdependence between cooperative organization and climate change processes are explored. Time poverty, gender restriction for rural women, collective strategies to create productive autonomous space and identify stakeholders’ co-responsibility, are discussed. The cooperatives efforts in climate change processes in critical environments are highlighted by the approach.


El  artículo  analiza  desde  la  ecología  política  feminista  las  estrategias  de  género  implementadas   por   dos   cooperativas   dirigidas   por   mujeres   campesinas   e   indígenas   en   Hidalgo,   México,   para   acceder   y   controlar   recursos   naturales,   intersectados  por  la  etnia  y  la  capacitación.  Mediante  un  estudio  longitudinal  de  largo plazo, se explora la interdependencia entre la organización cooperativa y los procesos de cambio ambiental encabezados por las socias. Se discute el tiempo de pobreza, las restricciones de género para mujeres rurales, las estrategias colectivas para construir espacios autónomos de producción e identifica la corresponsabilidad de actores involucrados. El enfoque destaca el papel de las cooperativas en procesos de cambio ecológico en entornos ambientales críticos.

Keywords: gender, environmental preservation, time poverty

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2020

Unruly Wives in the Household: Toward Feminist Genealogies for Peace Research


Lyytikäinen, Minna, Punam Yadav, Annick T. R. Wibben, Marjaana Jauhola, and Catia Cecilia Confortini. 2020. "Unruly Wives in the Household: Toward Feminist Genealogies for Peace Research." Cooperation and Conflict. doi:10.1177/0010836720938397.

Authors: Minna Lyyktikäinen, Punam Yadav, Annick T. R. Wibben, Marjaana Jauhola, Catia Cecilia Confortini


Feminist scholars and activists have historically been written out of peace research, despite their strong presence in the early stages of the field. In this article, we develop the concept of “wifesization” to illustrate the process through which feminist and feminized interventions have been reduced to appendages of the field, their contributions appropriated for its development but unworthy of mention as independent producers of knowledge. Wifesization has trickle-down effects, not just for knowledge production, but also for peacebuilding practice. We propose new feminist genealogies for peace research that challenge and redefine the narrow boundaries of the field, in the form of a patchwork quilt including early theorists, utopian writing, oral history, and indigenous knowledge production. Reflections draw on the authors’ engagements with several archives rich in cultures and languages of peace, not reducible to a “single story.” Recovering wifesized feminist contributions to peace research, our article offers a new way of constructing peace research canons that gives weight to long-standing, powerful, and plural feminist voices, in order to make peace scholarship more inclusive and ultimately richer.

Keywords: feminist peace research, India, Nepal, Sámiland, wifesization, women

Topics: Feminisms, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding

Year: 2020

The Discourse of Climate Change and Women's Health: Some Insights on Gender Mainstreaming


Mukhopadhyay, Kuheli, and Nandini Das. 2019. "The Discourse of Climate Change and Women's Health: Some Insights on Gender Mainstreaming." Current Research Journal of Social Sciences 2 (2): 79-86.

Authors: Kuheli Mukhopadhyay, Nandini Das


Climate Change has an overwhelming health impact on all, especially on the women, constituting around 49. 58% of the global population. There is ample literary evidence in support of the claim that a changing climate has a differentiated impact on humanity and that it is not “gender neutral”. Climate driven food scarcity, poor air quality, rising temperature and extreme weather events (floods, droughts, heat waves etc. ), acute water shortage, increasing incidence of vector borne diseases make the situation all the more dreadful for women in particular. And this vulnerability gets even more critical because of various biological, political, social and cultural factors that historically contributed against women and their empowerment. Though women are reservoirs of indigenous knowledge about how to deal with the aftermath of climatic changes, yet they remain largely untapped. However the importance of gender based climate action plan was long absent in arena of international climate negotiation. It was only in COP7 (2001) where women’s involvement in climate action had first caught global attention and subsequently nodal international bodies are working on formulating programmes and appropriate policies for promoting gender balance. However, the progress on this has been limited in comparison to the magnitude of impacts of climatic changes on women’s health and hence much more needs to be done on the policy front so as to promote gender equity and women’s participation in various adaptation and mitigation policies.

Keywords: climate change, gap, goals, gender mainstreaming, Lima, sustainable development

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Health, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Year: 2019

Gender, Social Capital and Adaptive Capacity to Climate Variability: A Case of Pastoralists in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions in Kenya


Omolo, Nancy, and Paramu L. Mafongoya. 2019. "Gender, Social Capital and Adaptive Capacity to Climate Variability: A Case of Pastoralists in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions in Kenya." International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 11 (5): 744-58.

Authors: Nancy Omolo, Paramu L. Mafongoya


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between gender and social capital in adapting to climate variability in the arid and semi-arid regions in Turkana in Kenya. 
Design/methodology/approach: This paper undertook literature review of secondary data sources, conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs). The statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze data for the quantitative part of the paper. 
Findings: Vulnerability is influenced by age, gender, education and disability. Elderly women are considered to be the most vulnerable to climate variability and change because they are the poorest in the community, followed by elderly men, the disabled, female-headed households, married women, men and, finally, the youth. Less than 30 per cent of women and men in both Katilu and Loima are able to read and write. The cross-tabulation results show that there is a statistical significant relationship between gender, age and education level and climate change vulnerability. This implies that gender, age and education level have a significant effect on climate change vulnerability. 
Research limitations/implications: The research coverage was limited to only two regions in Turkana because of time and economic constraints. 
Practical implications: The lack of attention to gender in the climate change literature has time and again resulted in an oversimplification of women’s and men's experience of climate risks. Improved development assistance, investments and enhanced targeting of the truly vulnerable within pastoral societies demand an acceptance of underdevelopment in arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya because of historical imbalances in investment; the recognition that vulnerability of pastoralists is neither uniform nor universal and the need to consider differences like age, gender and education. Policy-makers should understand that pastoralists in the past have used indigenous knowledge to cope with and adapt to climate change. The current-recurrent and intensity droughts require investment in modern technology, equipping pastoralists with relevant information and skills to make them resilient to climate change and implementing existing and relevant policies for northern Kenya. 
Social implications: This paper draws from several other efforts to show the critical relationships between gender, social capital and climate change. They are tracking adaptation and measuring development framework; ending drought emergencies common programme framework; and feminist evaluation approach. 
Originality/value: This paper is important in identifying the link between gender, social capital and adaptation to climate change.


Keywords: gender, adaptation, climate variability, pastoralists, Turkana

Topics: Age, Agriculture, Development, Poverty, Education, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx and the Postmodern


Salleh, Ariel. 2017. Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx and the Postmodern, 2nd edition. London: Zed Books.

Author: Ariel Salleh


Exploring the philosophical and political challenges of bridging feminist and ecological concerns, Ecofeminism as Politics argues that ecofeminism reaches beyond contemporary social movements as a political synthesis of four revolutions in one, taking in ecology, feminism, socialism, and postcolonial struggle.
Informed by a critical postmodern reading of Marxism, Ecofeminism as Politics integrates discourses on science, the body, culture, nature, and political economy. Highlighting the importance of finding commonalities between ecofeminist and indigenous struggles, Salleh offers a groundbreaking discussion of deep ecology, social ecology, eco-socialism, and postmodern feminism through the lens of an ecofeminist deconstruction. (Summary from Amazon)
Table of Contents:
1. Ecology Reframes History
2. Ecofeminist Actions
3. Body Logic: 1/0 Culture
4. Man/Woman=Nature
5. For and Against Marx
6. The Deepest Contradiction
7. When Feminism Fails
8. Terra Nullius
9. A Barefoot Epistemology
10. As Energy/Labour Flows
11. Agents of Complexity
12. Beyond Virtual Movements

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Year: 2017

Ecofeminism at the Heart of Ecosocialism


Brownhill, Leigh, and Terisa E. Turner. 2019. "Ecofeminism at the Heart of Ecosocialism." Capitalism Nature Socialism 30 (1): 1-10.

Authors: Leigh Brownhill, Terisa E. Turney


"African women have been at the forefront of resistance to corporate globalization since neoliberalism struck in the 1980s. They are joined, on an expanding scale, by diverse women of all continents who have also been deeply engaged in ecofeminist politics of resistance (Shiva 2008; Gago and Aguilar 2018; Giacomini et al. 2018). These resistance politics have today converged in the politics of transition to a fossil-fuel-free world. Being more fully and directly reliant on nature for their daily subsistence, specific African women have faced and resisted enclosure of their commons and collectively maintained indigenous knowledge, seeds, practices, food production, and energy technologies that offer clear alternatives to oil and petro-chemical reliant food and energy systems. The prominence of women in defending the commons against commodification has been evident in Africa for many decades. It is now also evident globally" (Brownhill and Turney 2019, 1). 

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Globalization, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Livelihoods Regions: Africa

Year: 2019

Decolonial Sketches and Intercultural Approaches to Truth: Corporeal Experiences and Testimonies of Indigenous Women in Colombia


Santamaría, Angela, Dunen Muelas, Paula Caceres, Wendi Kuetguaje, and Julian Villegas. 2020. "Decolonial Sketches and Intercultural Approaches to Truth: Corporeal Experiences and Testimonies of Indigenous Women in Colombia." International Journal of Transitional Justice 14 (1): 56-79.

Authors: Angela Santamaría, Dunen Muelas, Paula Caceres, Wendi Kuetguaje, Julian Villegas


This article explores the corporeal and testimonial memories of a group of female indigenous ex-combatants and victims in the Colombian Caribbean and Amazon. Although these groups have often been analyzed in the transitional justice literature, our primary objective is to analyze two local processes for retrieving indigenous women’s memories and possible feminist participatory action research methodologies in the Colombian postconflict context. We examined empowering intercultural and intersectional methodologies to promote the political participation of indigenous women – both ‘victims’ and ‘perpetrators’ – in the Colombian Truth Commission implemented after the peace agreement was enacted. We explain how participatory action research should be used, including techniques such as indigenous women’s body mapping, creating testimonial spaces and conducting ethnographic observations. The article is based on a transitional justice ‘from below’ perspective as well as local transitional justice practices.

Keywords: indigenous peoples, women, ex-combatants, Colombia

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Earth at Risk in the 21st Century: Rethinking Peace, Environment, Gender, and Human, Water, Health, Food, Energy Security, and Migration


Oswald, Úrsula. 2020. Earth at Risk in the 21st Century: Rethinking Peace, Environment, Gender, and Human, Water, Health, Food, Energy Security, and Migration. Mosbach: Springer International Publishing.

Author: Úrusla Oswald

Keywords: engendered peace and security, analysis of peace, security and environment, risk of survival in the 21st century, interdisciplinary reflections on climate change, water, food, health, energy security with nexus, alternative proposals from the Global South, adaptation to climate change from bottom-up, gift economy and solidarity, indigenous wisdom, care between humankind and Earth


Earth at Risk in the 21st Century offers critical interdisciplinary reflections on peace, security, gender relations, migration and the environment, all of which are threatened by climate change, with women and children affected most. Deep-rooted gender discrimination is also a result of the destructive exploitation of natural resources and the pollution of soils, water, biota and air. In the Anthropocene, the management of human society and global resources has become unsustainable and has created multiple conflicts by increasing survival threats primarily for poor people in the Global South. Alternative approaches to peace and security, focusing from bottom-up on an engendered peace with sustainability, may help society and the environment to be managed in the highly fragile natural conditions of a 'hothouse Earth. Thus, the book explores systemic alternatives based on indigenous wisdom, gift economy and the economy of solidarity, in which an alternative cosmovision fosters mutual care between humankind and nature.
• Special analysis of risks to the survival of humankind in the 21st century.
• Interdisciplinary studies on peace, security, gender and environment related to global environmental and climate change.
• Critical reflections on gender relations, peace, security, migration and the environment
• Systematic analysis of food, water, health, energy security and its nexus.
• Alternative proposals from the Global South with indigenous wisdom for saving Mother Earth.” (Summary from Springer International Publishing)
Table of Contents:
1. Contextualisation on Gender, Peace, Security and Environment
2. On Peace and Security
3. Peace and Sustainability in a Globalised World
4. Ahimsa and Human Development: A Different Paradigm for Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution
5. On Environmental Security and Global Environmental Change
6. Ecology and Threats to Human Survival
7. Water Conflicts, Megalopolises and Hydrodiplomacy
8. Peace, Environment and Security: A Gender Perspective from the Global South
9. Environmental Management in a Globalised World
10. Gender Security
11. On HUGE Security: Human, Gender and Environmental Security
12. On Engendered-Sustainable Peace from a Feminist and Bottom-Up Perspective
13. A Gender Perspective on Climate Change
14. On Water Security
15. On Health and Water Security
16. Agroecology for Food Sovereignty and Security
17. Energy Security: Policies and Potentials in Mexico
18. Analysing Migration and Environmental-Induced Migration with the PEISOR Model
19. Environmentally-Induced Migration from Bottom-Up in Central Mexico
20. The Nexus among Water, Soil, Food, Biodiversity and Energy Security
21. The Global South Facing the Challenges of an Engendered, Sustainable and Peaceful Transition in a Hothouse Earth
12. Conflict-Related Sexual Violence against Men and the International Criminal Jurisprudence


Topics: Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Migration, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peace and Security, Security, Food Security

Year: 2020

The Colombian Transitional Process: Comparative Perspectives on Violence against Indigenous Women


Acosta, Monica, Angela Castaneda, Daniela Garcia, Fallon Hernandez, Dunen Muelas, and Angela Santamaria. 2018. "The Colombian Transitional Process: Comparative Perspectives on Violence against Indigenous Women." International Journal of Transitional Justice 12 (1): 108-25.

Authors: Monica Acosta, Angela Castaneda, Daniela Garcia, Fallon Hernandez, Dunen Muelas, Angela Santamaria


Colombia has a comprehensive system of truth, justice and reparation stemming from its history with the justice and peace process and its most recent peace agreement. Although indigenous women are the most affected before, during and after conflict, their participation is marginalized within this political context. This article discusses how Colombian transitional justice can be reconfigured when indigenous women's practices and knowledge travel 'from the margins' to the center. We seek to demonstrate how these practices legitimize gender and other types of violence in the name of tradition and also how indigenous women's experiences go beyond the gendered perspective of violence as a 'weapon of war.' Working within the context of the peace process, we gathered data through learning and teaching techniques with indigenous women in three indigenous contexts (Sierra, Pan-Amazon region and Chocó). Our focus is on the interaction between local transitional justice practices and the violence against indigenous women, their resistance practices and the peacebuilding agendas used to implement transitional justice in Colombia.


Keywords: Colombia, indigenous women, intersectionality, transitional justice 'from below'

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Intersectionality, Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018


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